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Is my Tivo HD dead for good? Got a new hard drive... and S.M.A.R.T. says...

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by FixItPete, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. FixItPete

    FixItPete Big Time Fan Newbie

    Oct 27, 2008
    FL - Comcast
    Foil bag>Bubble>Fill>Box...

    Hopefully all will be ok with the replacement...
  2. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

    May 30, 2008
    Glad you're getting a new drive. I have never seen that "repair" option work.
  3. dianebrat

    dianebrat drastically off narrative TCF Club

    Jul 6, 2002
    I have seen it work well enough to get that last bit of data off of a dying drive, but that's it, so in the long run it's just a last ditch data recovery attempt, in this case with it being new, I'd not use the drive.
  4. Worf

    Worf Active Member

    Sep 15, 2000
    That repair option works - remember, for a drive to replace a dead sector, it needs to be aware of it (which is done by reading it enough that the drive "gives up" and returns error). This marks the sector as needing replacement. however, the drive will NOT replace the sector (in case you want to try some data recovery software). To actually get it to replace the sector, you must write it with new data, so the drive can write the new data to the new sector (the drive will not attempt data recovery - the only way it can replace the sector is when you write new data to that sector so the drive knows you don't care about the old contents anymore).

    Usually an "extended test" (which reads every sector) is run to map out the bad sectors, then a "write zeroes" is run which remaps every bad sector to spares.

    Of course, for most drives, this happens pretty transparently during normal operations, only when you start seeing bad sectors should the drive be replaced (because the drive ran out).

    You should never ever get bad sectors on a new drive - the initial set were mapped out at the factory to begin with, and proper transport should ensure that no additional ones are created before the drive enters use.

    That packaging for the drive isn't good (most manufacturers will reject a drive submitted to RMA like that), however practically speaking, it'll be sufficient most of the time, as long as it's the ONLY drive. If there are two together, all bets are off (the drives bang off each other and that severely damages them).

    Unfortunately, it looks like you got the short end of that stick - the guy you bought the drive from probably got his drives that way (probably 5-10 drives wrapped together in bubblewrap). It's trivial to apply the image and not detect the damage.

    And hey, I've seen drives shipped to me in a bubblewrap *envelope*. Unsurprisingly, the drive was producing dead sectors all over the place.
  5. FixItPete

    FixItPete Big Time Fan Newbie

    Oct 27, 2008
    FL - Comcast
    Thanks for the feedback! I'll let you know how it goes... and that's a good point... even if the guy who shipped it to me packs it well this time -- you have no way of knowing how it was shipped to him originally (or how many generations of shippers there were along the supply chain!).

    I suppose the best way to deal with it is to check BEFORE I install it and see what happens. This time he's going to test it before he ships it as well as pack it more aggressively. I'll report back.

    I understand that accidents happen -- so we'll see how it all plays out.

    I'm very appreciative for all the help here!


    Pete :)
  6. BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Well-Known Member

    May 15, 2002
    Good idea to test before putting in a Tivo. 20% of hard drives show up DOA. They just don't like to be jostled around, no matter how well you pack them.
  7. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    20%?? I think my rate is around 2% for the 150 to 200 hard drives I've used over the last twenty years.

    Sent from my HTC ReZound using Forum Runner
  8. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I have purchased about 600 drives over the last 6 years, I had about 6 or 7 DOA drives from Newegg, and we know how badly they pack drives.
  9. mattack

    mattack Active Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    AFAIK, there is no facility for SMART data to be sent over USB. It has to be directly connected.
  10. FixItPete

    FixItPete Big Time Fan Newbie

    Oct 27, 2008
    FL - Comcast
    Interesting... then why do I still get a fail when I test it via KickStart54?

    Also, what about the errors when I test it via USB using WD Lifeguard?

    Are you saying the drive is OK?

    Clarify please...

  11. dianebrat

    dianebrat drastically off narrative TCF Club

    Jul 6, 2002
    He's saying that USB may not pass SMART info, so you may not be able to trust that.

    However the fact that WD Diagnostics fails the drive means the drive is bad, no ifs, ands, or buts, the drive failed diagnostics, don't use it.

    I also was under the impression you need the drive hooked up directly to the MB to test SMART, but it still doesn't matter because you failed WD diagnostics.

    I hope that helps.
  12. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    When you say you got a pre-loaded drive, do you mean one where the seller installs the TiVo image and expands it before sending it to you?

    If so, the drive isn't your problem, it's their problem, and it's on them to make things right.
  13. alansh

    alansh New Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ
    Even if SMART doesn't work over USB, the diagnostics can still detect read errors. If that's happening, return the drive. Period.
  14. HomeUser

    HomeUser Active Member

    Jan 12, 2003
    A2 Michigan
    S.M.A.R.T is just a set of commands that is sent to the drive the same way as read or write commands.

    S.M.A.R.T works with USB, ESATA, FireWire and all other adapters. It's the BIOS or drivers that may capture or block access to the S.M.A.R.T commands from the high level software.

    The drives manufacturers boot from CD diagnostics should see all the information unless the BIOS is capturing it. Turn off S.M.A.R.T in the BIOS then the boot CD should have full access. Of course there are always exceptions I have a Gigabit Mother Board that takes full control of the hard drives making it useless for cloning or diagnostics.
  15. FixItPete

    FixItPete Big Time Fan Newbie

    Oct 27, 2008
    FL - Comcast
    New drive came in on Friday... installed same day... appears to be working as it should! This drive had a 2012 mfg. date... so I think we're great-to-go!

    I guess I could have bought that prog. that would load the HD (I forget the name) -- but for $169 delivered to my door... I'm ok with it.

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